General Question

Spargett's avatar

Any tips for someone about to rent a new place?

Asked by Spargett (5343 points ) March 27th, 2008

I’m going to get a place in Sacramento, CA for a little while. It’s been a while since I’ve moved into a new place. I’ve lived at the same place in San Francisco, CA for almost 4 years.

So any suggestions on things to look for, tips for getting a better price, etc. etc. I reaching out to a deep collective of experience for any knowledge related to moving to a new place, as well as legal/business aspect of renting.

One thing I personally have learned was to take pictures of everything when you move in, so there can’t be any dispute over repairs with the deposit. i.e.

“You scratched the floors there” – Landlord
“No I didn’t, and I have the photos to prove it.” – Me

I’ll also be renting a 10’ truck from U-Haul and driving it about 100 miles.

Here’s a few places I’m looking into if it helps:

http://sacramento.craigslist.org/apa/619846121.html
http://sacramento.craigslist.org/apa/616366547.html

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4 Answers

cake7's avatar

First off, both places are nice well as i can read and see. I can’t believe the rent. I live in a two story three bedroom three bath, for 1100 all bills paid but I also live in Texas.
Somethings to think about is the distance from your place of work. Well if you work at home i guess that wouldn’t matter. The pictures is a great idea, taking pictures while you are with the landlord or who ever you are going to rent it from, will show that you are very interested. I have known a couple who went through an entire house and pointed out everything that needed to be fixed or had to be updated, they ended up getting $200 off rent each month. Also sometimes if you suggest that you will do repairs they will knock down the price, because you will be raising the value. ex: If you suggest a paint job that would up the price value. i’ve just noticed some of this is ramblings hopefully it will help : )

occ's avatar

If the rental market you’re moving into is competitive, print out a little packet with all your info that proves you are a good renter (proof of employment, references from past landlords, credit statement, etc) and have that with you as you tour apartments so that if you see a place you like you can hand it to the landlord then and there. You will look prepared, and you will beat out any other applicants that also show up that day. Also, look into the rent control laws before you move in. For example, in SF, all apartments built before a certain date are rent controlled, which is awesome…find out if there is a similar law in Sacramento and find out if there is a certain construction-date cut-off for which it would or would’t be rent controlled- so that you can prioritze moving somewhere that is rent controlled, in case you end up staying for a while. If housing prices in the Bay Area/ Sacramento keep dropping, then rental prices are going to keep going up as the yuppies who can afford property decide not to buy and are willing to pay more for a nice rental in the meantime. So this would be a good time to get in on a good rent-controlled place.

DeezerQueue's avatar

I’m not knowledgeable about landlord/tenant laws there, but see if you can find them somewhere online, they would be under your state code. Know specifically what your rights are, and what his are with regard to termination, repair, rental increase and those things with which you’ve had to deal with in the past.

Talk to potential neighbors and find out what kind of landlord it is, if it’s an individual, agency or corporation, find out if they’ve had positive experiences.

Finally, don’t be pressured into the potential “I’ve got three other people coming to look at it today.” An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

GREEN40's avatar

LOOK FOR A PLACE THAT DOES NOT FREQUENTLY COME ON TO THE MARKET PLACE, IT MAY INDICATE THAT THE PREVIOUS TENANTS HAVE BEEN UNHAPPY.ALSO DRIVE AROUND THE AREA AT NIGHT

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